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Effects of Photoperiod on Behavior and Mortality Rate in Beijing You Chicken before 8 Weeks Old

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2012 IX International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES IX)  ILES12-0618.(doi:10.13031/2013.41634)
Authors:   Furong Furong Zhao, Ailian Ailian Geng, Weiwei Weiwei Jiao
Keywords:   Photoperiod, Beijing You-Chicken, behavior, mortality rate

Photoperiod can have important effects on the behavior and welfare of chickens, which their growing performance and behavior related. This study evaluated the effects of 3 photoperiod regimes on behavior and mortality rate of Beijing You Chicken before 8 weeks old for examining photoperiod effects on their health and behavior. One hundred sixty tow 1-day-old birds was randomly divided into 3 treatments which there were 54 birds in every treatment. The photoperiods were 23 h for all treatments from 13 d. Treatment 1(8L:16D), 2( 12L:12D) and 3(16L:8D) were applied from 456 d, after which the photoperiod was 23L:1D. The results showed that preening frequency was significantly higher in treatment 3 than birds in treatment 1(P<0.05). There were no significant differences in the frequency of feeding, drinking, standing, laying (P>0.05). Feeding time including maximum, minimum duration and duration percent were all higher in treatment 3 than birds in treatment 1 respectively (P<0.05). The duration percent of preening was higher in treatment 3 than birds in treatment 1(P<0.05). The frequency and duration percent of peaking in treatment 2,3 were significantly lower than birds in treatment 1 respectively (P<0.05). The mortality rate had dropping trend while light time were prolonged which they were 13.0%, 9.3%, 5.6%. Therefore, It was propitious to raise Beijing You chicken welfare while illumination time was prolonged from 8h to 16h of photoperiod.

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